The influence of memory in a threshold model for distributed task assignment


A nature inspired decentralised multi-agent algorithm is proposed to solve a problem of distributed task selection in which cities produce and store batches of different mail types. Agents must collect and process the mail batches, without a priori knowledge of the available mail at the cities or inter-agent communication. In order to process a different mail type than the previous one, agents must undergo a change-over during which it remains inactive. We propose a threshold based algorithm in order to maximise the overall efficiency (the average amount of mail collected). We show that memory, i.e. the possibility for agents to develop preferences for certain cities, not only leads to emergent cooperation between agents, but also to a significant increase in efficiency (above the theoretical upper limit for any memoryless algorithm), and we systematically investigate the influence of the various model parameters. Finally, we demonstrate the flexibility of the algorithm to changes in circumstances, and its excellent scalability.

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Divisions: College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > Systems analytics research institute (SARI)
Additional Information: ©2008 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works must be obtained from the IEEE
Uncontrolled Keywords: distributed decision-making,memory,response thresholds,self organisation,Computer Networks and Communications,Hardware and Architecture,Control and Systems Engineering
ISBN: 978-0-7695-3404-6
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2023 12:37
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2013 14:42
Full Text Link: ... 09/SASO.2008.37
Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Chapter
Published Date: 2008-10-20
Authors: Goldingay, Harry (ORCID Profile 0000-0001-6402-937X)
van Mourik, Jort (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-3172-2714)


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